January 12, 2014

Hardened and Blind – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;” (Ephesians 4:18)

It is difficult to watch a strong, healthy blind person groping with their red tipped white cane, trying to find their way. What a heartbreaking tragedy.  But, while blinded eyes are tragic, it is infinitely worse to have a blinded heart.

We do not see anyone choosing to be sightless, but spiritual blindness is a product of the human will.

Jesus chose a juxtaposition of these ideas, to teach a powerful lesson. He gave the gift of sight to a man born blind. In doing so, He provided powerful evidence that anyone could see. Nevertheless, the Pharisees still refused to see the illuminated implication of Jesus’ action.

“And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” (John 9:39-41)

These pompous, spiritually sightless intellectuals, who thought they saw it all, remind us of modern intellectuals who are often incurably blind. They profess to teach ultimate truth (while denying the concept) about science and philosophy from their lofty towers of higher learning. They profess themselves to be wise but their understanding is darkened and their hearts are blinded.

Because they are “intellectually dishonest” God tells us that He intentionally blinds them. Then the Devil joins the effort making truly formidable team.

“…Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged…” (II Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Because they do not love the truth, these pitifully sad individuals, are divinely blinded. They proceed ignorantly, probing with their white canes, stumbling along in black darkness.

Regarding the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul says:

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Corinthians 4:3-4)

Even very religious people, like the Jews, people who believe in God as Creator, may blind themselves when confronted with the truth that the Creator must also become their Savior.

“But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;” (II Corinthians 3:14-15)

Nevertheless, Christ came as “the light.” He came to open blind eyes so that they could see the radiant truth of Gods eternal wisdom, which man, on his own, could never imagine. But, He did not open all the blind eyes in Israel. Likewise, spiritually, He selectively opens the eyes guided buy honest hearts. Various translations of the promise made by Jesus in John 7:17 illuminate this truth.

“Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know…” NLT

“If you really want to obey God, you will know…” CEV

“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out…” NIV

“Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know…” NRSV

“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know…” ESV

God promises that, when He sees honest hearts, He will shine the light of truth on Satan’s darkness. The result is “the veil is taken away.” (II Corinthians 3:16) Then, these noble individuals are promised they will, “see the light of the gospel.” (II Corinthians 4:4)

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

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